Cowichan Music Festival getting into full swing

The festival includes performances in five major categories: vocal/choral, musical theatre, instruments, piano, and dance.

If you love seeing and hearing what the Valley’s talented students have been up to this year, the 68th annual Cowichan Music Festival has an event for you.

In fact, a whole month of events, ranging from solo performances before an adjudicator in quiet venues to full-out gala celebrations at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.

The festival includes performances in five major categories: vocal/choral, musical theatre, instruments, piano, and dance. As you can imagine, these are broken down into various classes for fair judging.

It all started Feb. 6 as the vocal/ choral competitions started at the Duncan United Church, under the eye of adjudicator Adele Clark.

With 25 years of experience, following studies that specialized in opera performance, she is greatly in demand as an adjudicator, clinician and workshop teacher across Canada. Her own repertoire includes Sweeney Todd, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Die Fledermaus.

Musical Theatre events get underway Wednesday, Feb. 15, also at Duncan United Church, under the watching eye of adjudicator Rebecca Hass.

She’ll be using her experience, which includes both big shows like Phantom of the Opera and smaller presentations at venues like Victoria’s Belfry Theatre.

The big dance category covers everything from ballet to tap, character national, and musical theatre, street dance and more.

Tanya Broissoit, dancing adjudicator for ballet and modern, has been credited by many performers with a gift for seeing and developing the qualities of her dancers. She is now teaching, coaching, and mentoring at the Pro Arte Dance Centre in North Vancouver.

Adjudicator Lisa Metz has diverse dance passions: tap, jazz, contemporary and street dance are some of her favourites and she’s becoming known as an innovative choreographer. She’ll be handling the tap, jazz, musical theatre, character, character national and street dance categories.

The dance competition hits the big stage at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre starting Sunday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m.

The instrumental music section is the smallest but, because of its diversity, it is looked after by three adjudicators.

Scott MacInnes, a trombone player who teaches at the University of Victoria, will be judging the band competition at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre starting Feb. 21, while Julian Vitek, back for a third time at the Cowichan Music Festival, will be adjudicating the various strings categories at Duncan United Church beginning Feb. 23.

Versatile keyboard soloist and teacher, Sonia Lee, will preside over the competition for the piano group at the Duncan Fire Hall.

Season tickets for the festival are $25 each; or tickets for individual events cost $3 for the church and the fire hall or $3 for the theatre.

Programs giving the rundown of all the events in each category can be purchased for $3 each at Duncan Music, Pioneer Video and Cowichan Press in the Mill Bay Centre. Body Wrapsody carries the dance program only.